The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) conducted its Basic Course on Science Diplomacy from 29 to 30 October 2020. The Course was designed to introduce the interrelatedness of science and diplomacy, their unique roles in advancing Philippine national priorities, and achieving global scientific development efforts.
Thirty-eight (38) DFA personnel attended the Course, which was conducted through synchronous sessions via Zoom. Fourteen (14) of them were from Foreign Service Posts, 13 were from the Consular Offices (COs), and the remaining 13 from the DFA Home Office.
Aside from the lecture-discussions, the Course had virtual panel discussions involving diplomats and scientists to discuss how they collaborate: their specific roles and contributions in advancing Philippine interest particularly in the field of: (1) Climate Crisis, (2) Space Science, and (3) Nuclear Energy. Through this methodology, the participants were given first-hand perspectives from the diplomats and scientists themselves.
Philippine Ambassador to Vienna, Hon. Maria Cleofe R. Natividad, remarked on the need to build strong partnership and collaboration between diplomats and scientists to advance Philippine interests. The Ambassador also emphasized the significance of Science Diplomacy, as she noted “it (Science Diplomacy) is more relevant than ever as it is the key to not only meeting our Sustainable Development Goals including our Ambisyon Natin 2040, but also ensuring economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”